A case of the giggles

Have you heard of using laughing gas to dull labor pains? This is very interesting to me; I am very intrigued and want to learn more.

Contrary to my usual feelings about needles, I am very scared of the epidural.  Generally, needles don’t bother me at all – in fact, when getting immunization shots, I actually like to look at the needle going into the arm because I’m weird like that. But have you seen how big the epidural needle is?!  And do you know it goes into your spine? Good lord!  I saw it being done on an episode of The Real Housewives of New York (did I just admit that?).  It scared me.  And from what I understand of the epidural outright removing pain and often rendering the mother useless in the birthing process, it’s not really the birthing experience I want.

But as scared as I am about the epidural, I am really intimidated by how intense the labor pains might be.  How do women not just pass out entirely from the pain?  So, I think I will need something to help, along with the breathing, the walking, etc.  Could nitrous oxide be it?

It sounds as though there aren’t many hospitals in the US that provide it as an option.  UCSF does, but that’s across the Bay, so not a realistic hospital for me.  Can midwives provide it separately?  How does access work?  I hope that in progressive Berkeley, CA, my local hospital will have it as an option if I want it.

More research to be done!